The resurgence of Creative Arts as an integral part of the Senior Phase of the curriculum is a welcome development. I can clearly remember my primary school experiences doing Art, Drama and Music. I can clearly remember the many lines I had to memorize to participate in the Afrikaans sketch of the school play at St Mary's Primary in Retreat. I remember vividly the almost tyrannical music teacher, who made sure you did your "do-ra-me-fa-so-la-ti-do" or tonic solfa before we sang the classics in four voices. I was petrified when she came closer to hear if you carrying the tune properly. And I haven't even touched on the art classes.
Since 1994 and the ensuing avalanche of curriculum change, the Arts has taken a backseat in our curriculum until the arrival of CAPS. Creative Arts is back in the mainstream. So what is the intention of the subject?
The policy defines it as follows:
develop creative, expressive and innovative individuals and teams; provide learners with exposure to and experiences in dance, drama, music and visual arts; provide access to basic arts education for all learners; identify and nurture artistic talent, aptitude and enthusiasm; equip learners with adequate basic skills to pursue further studies in the art forms of their choice; develop an awareness of arts across diverse cultures; expose learners to the range of careers in the arts; develop arts literacy and appreciation; develop future audiences and arts consumers; and develop life skills through the arts.
The subject consists of 4 strands, i.e Dance, Visual Arts, Music and Drama. Learners can take a combination of two of the four strands.
The study of dance in the Senior Phase as part of Creative Arts focuses on providing opportunities for learners to experience the joy of dancing, to learn how to use their bodies safely, to develop their fitness for dancing and to develop sufficient basic skills to equip them for selecting Dance Studies as a subject in FET.
Drama encourages the creative exploration of themes and issues, creates a safe context for this exploration, and provides opportunities to reflect on the insights gained in the process. Learners appreciate and interpret a wide range of dramatic works both published and created in the class.
The study of Music aims to develop the ability to perform a variety of vocal and instrumental music in group and solo contexts. In addition, learners are exposed to the written and aural language of music through reading and writing music.
Through Visual Arts, the learners are constantly exposed to the content, concepts and skills of visual arts, through a range of different activities that vary in depth and breadth, will help learners develop a rich visual language and related skills. Critical and reflective thinking skills are developed, and learners reap enormous satisfaction from being able to express themselves in symbolic, visual ways.
This summary hopefully gives you a clear sense of what the subject strives to achieve. Let us encourage learners to pursue these areas too. The History-of-the-World shows us that many great scientists were also great artists - makes you think, doesn't it?